“If we'd have had a great pass rush, maybe we wouldn't have had to worry about it.”
That might be the thing that changed the most in the past two weeks. In that big win against Texas Tech, OSU sacked and hurried Seth Doege into his worst day of the season.
Saturday against Baylor, the Cowboys had no sacks and only three quarterback hurries.
Of course, you can't pin all of Saturday on the defense. Everyone knew this was going to be a shootout between two of the best offenses in the country, and the Cowboy offense failed to keep pace.
But again, it's hard to win when your defense gives up 600-plus yards.
Even though the defense allowed only 10 points in the second half, a 76-yard touchdown run by Lache Seastrunk was the dagger.
The twist of that dagger?
Seastrunk pulled a hamstring about 40 yards from the end zone but still managed to beat the Cowboy defenders to the goal line.
“Unfortunately, we didn't make enough plays on defense,” Bassett said.
Now, the Cowboys are left to wonder what would've been. What if they'd managed a fourth-down stop in Norman? What if they'd forced even one turnover in Waco?
This season suddenly feels vastly different that it did even eight days ago. Before that Bedlam game, the possibilities that existed were grand. A Big 12 title. A BCS bowl. A wondrous season.
Now, the Cowboys are hoping the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl finds them desirable enough to invite them back to the desert.
This has been a clunker of an ending.
“It kind of makes it sting a little bit more,” Bassett said.
The senior cleared his throat.
“It just kind of smarts a little bit when you have those opportunities (to play) and they're running down and you want to make the most of every one of them.”
His jaw clenched one last time.
“We're not ending it the way we wanted to.”
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.